It is good to go, and good to return. Home sure looks good to me tonight.
I left early Sunday morning for a trip with the combined mission of visiting family and telling stories. The trip across West Virginia was not an easy one; I drove through some torrential rainstorms all across the state as they seemed to weave their way around the mountains. So it was slower than usual, and believe me, I did some mighty careful driving. As I crested one of the highest points in the state, I learned that my brakes need some work. Not the most comfortable way to learn that little fact, you know? But I treated them with care and respect the rest of the trip, and as soon as I can stop for a few days Larry will get them right again.
My first destination was Baker, WV, to pick up my sister Judy. She's next down from me in age, and closest to me in interests and lifestyle too, actually. Judy runs the stables at Lost River State Park and works as an RN in Harrisonburg, VA. A busy lady who lives in a beautiful location. We drove to our sister Liz's home in Bealeton, Virginia, where four more sisters gathered. What a gabfest! Liz prepared a delicious light lunch and we talked and talked and talked. It was so good to see them all.
After our visit, Judy, me and our next sister down in age order, Mary, all rode together back to Judy's house for more visiting. We were up early Monday for more chatting, then I drove Mary home to Catlett, VA and headed off to Leesburg for two more important visits: one to my son Jon's grave, and the second with his wife and daughter Cassidy. Both were good visits. I spent over an hour at the cemetery, cleaning Jon's stone and just being there. I get so few opportunities since it's a long way from home, and this was nice because I wasn't in a hurry, and I was alone, which I much prefer. This is quiet, private time.
I learned from Cassidy that her song Blindsided will be played on the ABC TV show The Vineyard (third episode, in August). One of her songs also played on the Soap the Young and the Restless earlier this year. She's moving on in her music career, and I am excited to hear what she does next.
I checked in at the lodge at Cacapon Resort near Berkeley Springs, WV that evening and got some good rest, needed since Tuesday was storytelling time. The first show was for Energy Express, the Boys and Girls Club and Summer Reading Program children from the Morgan County Library, and my show was sponsored by the library. It was an active, energetic group, a lot of fun.
I spent the afternoon browsing shops in the area. At the local used book store, I ran into a couple from Boone, North Carolina. I mentioned that I would be telling Appalachian stories that evening at the library, and they were interested, but had dinner reservations at the same time as the program. I was delighted when they showed up at the library and said they'd changed their reservation so they could come! It was a relaxed, comfortable session with a small but attentive audience, lots of conversation mixed into the storytelling. I even learned that it is quite possible that they are related to me through my Connelly maiden name, and there might even be a link to my ex-husband as well! West Virginia--other places might have 6 degrees of separation, but here I think it's only one.
This morning I decided to take a new way home, traveling through gorgeous scenery of big rivers and high mountains. I made several stops along the way to browse in antique stores and talk with the owners, and my van in loaded with all kinds of finds. I'll be posting photos of what I brought home as well as some of the places and things I saw along the way in the next few days. Tonight it's time to tuck into bed and sleep well so I will be rested for tomorrow's performance in Charleston. So good night, blog friends, and see you soon.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.